Ski Clothing for first (trial) ski trip

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Jul-2012
Verbier_ski_bum
It's tough with skiing as you need to buy quite a lot of stuff before you even know if you like it or not. Gloves, goggles, jacket, pants, thermals, fleeces... But as others said it doesn't always cost a fortune and you don't need to buy a high-tech clothing that is only useful in the mountains. Pants are a tricky thing to buy. If you are really not sure if you are going to continue skiing beyond your first trip, get the cheapest pants you can, heavy insulated with some water resistance. Water proof stufff is usually more expensive and lighter non-insulated shells too. You can alsways invest on these later if you commit. With cheap pants if you don't like skiing you just give them away, discard or do whatever else people do with things they no longer need. Gloves - I am not sure about silk liners, but I would go for a proper waterproof ones, GTX or similar. You don't want to have cold hands, and if your gloves get wet and let water in you will have cold hands and it can realy affect your overall experience. Goggles - you only have one pair of eyes so take a good care of them. Generally you need one pair with interchangeable lenses - for bright sunshine and flat light. Or get one pair of goggles and a pair of mountain-graded sunglasses ("regular" sunglasses don't offer sufficient protection in the mountains). You can use this sunglasses on the beach or anywhere in the summer when it's sunny. There are of course goggles made for most conditions but as always there will be compromises - they are not as good in flat light as a flat-light goggles and don't offer as good protection as goggles made for bright light. Don't buy thick socks. Lightweight, thin merino. You will get better boot fit with thinner socks. Now the most tricky bit - boots. As a first timer you of course will be hiring. So take a good care to walk out of the rental shop with boots that fit you well. Or at least that you can exchange them and don't get stuck with them till the end of your trip if they don't fit. The biggest mistake many first time skiers make is that fully expecting boots being uncomfortable they grab the first pair they are given that doesn't seem tight and they end up with boots too big more often than not, which will affect their skiing and overall experience. You should have just enough room to wiggle your toes but your heels shouldn't be moving.
Jul-2012
Verbier_ski_bum
I forgot to add that you should avoid cotton in your base layers - it has zero insulating value and you get cold really quickly once it gets wet from sweat. So leave your cotton T-shirts for apres-ski or at home. The best material for base layers is merino wool, which unfortunately is the most expensive, but for example Iceberg tops can be worn not just for skiing, but for normal casual wear too. Basically your ski clothes have to keep you warm and dry and not restrict your movements.
Jul-2012
AllyG
Verbier_ski_bum, I know you're right and I'm not supposed to but I always wear cotton T-shirts under my thermal tops and ski jacket, and cotton leggings under my ski trousers, because wool or synthetics next to my skin makes me all itchy. I have tried wearing the correct gear but I couldn't stand it for more than about 2 minutes - so I yanked it off and went back to my cottons!

I suppose I may well get colder/hotter/sweatier than other people wearing the correct gear, but so far I have survived (and enjoyed) my ski holidays
Jul-2012
Verbier_ski_bum
Merino shouldn't itch.
Jul-2012
Tony_H
verbier_ski_bum wrote:Merino shouldn't itch.
I rarely agree with Ally, but in this instance I do. Merino is itchy.
Jul-2012
Surfarthur
Yes I am with Ally and Tony on this one, but generally find a good quality merino will not itch badly, more that I need to get used to it. The slight itch is more than worth it for me for the benefits of the merino though. I also find a brand new merino needs to be washed a few times, this helps to reduce the itchiness.
Jul-2012
Bedrock barney
I wear icebreaker merino wool base layers. No itching at all.
Jul-2012
Bandit
Sensitive skinned folks could try Silk.

I get on well with the HH Merino/synthetic mix as it has a flatknit inner. Very durable fabric, washes well and no pilling.

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